John Franke, Manager Old Saybrook Garden Mart



What’s in a Name:  Sweet Peet!

John Franke, Manager Old Saybrook Garden Mart

For the most part, I am a plants person.  Peonies, Poppies and Oxalis are exciting stuff!  Fertilizers and mulch, not so much; but there are always exceptions to every rule.  I actually have a favorite mulch and it’s called Sweet Peet.

In my younger days, I was an estate gardener on Fishers Island, NY, where Sweet Peet was the mulch of the rich and famous.  I liked Sweet Peet because it was easy to lay down and gave everything a “Chelsea Flower Show-like” appearance. The estate on Fishers Island was a very extensive and a very ambitious property.  I confess I overplanted every bed and border and all of the soil was a mix of clay and sand.  I had my work cut out for me as the soil didn’t really yield serious results.  Fast forward four years, the shrubs and perennials were thriving!  I found myself dividing daylilies that were growing in six to seven inches of rich soil!  A dark loam populated with earthworms!  That soil wasn’t there before, was it.  Actually it was, the Sweet Peet made the difference bringing more than just mulch and color to the beds; it brought beneficials to the soil and added humus and nutrients. Now I loved Sweet Peet!

All the while Sweet Peet appears to be just a yearly mulching, when it really is the greatest soil amendment that you can add just like mulch.  In fact, Sweet Peet is a “secret blend” of aged bark, compost, peat and bio-char, balanced to the right pH with lime.  Fast forward to the present, my own personal estate is 20 by 28 feet and modest with lousy glacial till for soil, with not an earthworm in sight.  Three years later, my peonies now have dozens of blooms instead of three. I even now have earthworms.  At Van Wilgen’s, we offer Sweet Peet in bags as well by the yard.  Sweet Peet will also work just the same for you, whether you are famous or not. Yes, Sweet Peet is a premium mulch, realize you will get benefits beyond just sweet-looking, well-dressed beds.